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Wolfgang Kniejski

Dr h. c., Access-to-Market Lead/ Managing Director
EIT DIGITAL ACCELERATOR / INI-NOVATION GMBH

Talk title: Taylormade technology transfer processes for European tech innovations

Abstract:Europe’s Digital Transformation is leading all locations in the world into high dynamics with (sometimes revolutionary) changing value creation, technology use and user behavior. Globally, new technology companies and innovative business models are increasingly demanding supremacy of economies in the area of innovative products and services. However, this dynamic meets European economies with many strong value chains but also with close technological specialization and a focus only on incremental innovation. Access of industry and consumers to enabling technologies plays an important role for the creation of innovative products, services and solutions in the digital economy. Likewise, efficiencies and effectiveness of technology transfer processes can support unlocking socio-economic growth potential. Increasing globalization leads to increased competition and shorter life cycles for innovation. Access to state-of-the-art innovations becomes increasingly complex and costly.

If therefore the European economies also in the future want to remain leaders in innovation, we must now have the conditions and fertile soils to take R&D results, startups and scaleups with great innovation potential to international market maturity and to be ready to contribute to the value creation and prosperity of our countries. Thus, for R&D organisations, for startups, scaleups and for SMEs with high innovation potential - but at the same time high risk of failure - vast networks of industry, research and education organizations is one of the most valued assets.

INI-Novation GmbH has developed successful technology transfer schemes all over Europe. And within the EIT Digital Accelerator Wolfgang Kniejski is providing access to these networks. Therefore, in the talk, it will be presented how technology transfer schemes should be organised and how access-to-market teams are major vehicles to drive R&D results, startups and scaleups globally, as they connect the carriers of innovation to any interested customer. Such ‘marketplaces’ aim at co-creating a win-win solution by gathering high-quality and targeted participants in a trusted setting with confirmed commercial interest and strong value proposition curated by technology transfer drivers.

As a result both parties receive benefits and value added from these activites. On the one hand carrirs of innovation have a unique opportunity to access relevant markets in co-operation with the big players, and on the other hand corporates see the benefit that collaboration with innovative and flexible innovators, scaleups and SMEs opens new opportunities, for instance, in terms of joint product development, collaborative service offers and outsourcing.

Bio: After finishing studying business management and economics at the University of Mannheim, Germany, Wolfgang Kniejski started his business career in 1991 as the Financial Manager of Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics, in Darmstadt, Germany. In 1999 he took the position as Business Manager of INI-GraphicsNet Foundation, since 2004 he was appointed as its Treasurer and Business Director. In this capacity he developed and implemented successfully methodologies and processes to support the technology commercialisation for universities and research institutions via licensing and spin-off activities.

Dr. h.c. Kniejski spun his technology commercialisation knowledge off into his own company and created INI-Novation GmbH as an innovation management and start-up consulting entity. He developed many incubators, accelerators and technology centers all over Europe as well as in the US, in Latin Amerika, in Korea and in Singapore, where he won the Singapore Innovation Award 2006.

Dr. h.c. Wolfgang Kniejski is represented as shareholder in the Boards of several high-tech spin-off companies and technology transfer organisations all over the world, as well as through his membership in several professional advisory bodies.

Since the beginning of 2014, Wolfgang Kniejski, is contracted by the European Institute for Innovation and Technology (EIT Digital) to support their Business Development Accelerator. In this function he leads the EIT Digital Business Community for Digital Infrastructure and Digital Finance technologies, supporting many European scaleups to access international markets and to get introduced to European corporate customers.